Specialist Experience and Skills
My skills and experience working with students with ADD/ADHD or focus and concentration challenges: I was the teacher of a teenager with ADD for three years and I developed a good relationship with him and his family. From my experience the two approaches that work best are: crystal clear boundaries and movement breaks. By building good rapport based on respect and consistency the student-teacher relationship can thrive and the pupil can feel calm and stable.If the student needs a quick break, that is OK and I will always keep my end of the bargain but we will use a timer and agree to move on... Read More
My skills and experience working with students with ADD/ADHD or focus and concentration challenges: I was the teacher of a teenager with ADD for three years and I developed a good relationship with him and his family. From my experience the two approaches that work best are: crystal clear boundaries and movement breaks. By building good rapport based on respect and consistency the student-teacher relationship can thrive and the pupil can feel calm and stable.If the student needs a quick break, that is OK and I will always keep my end of the bargain but we will use a timer and agree to move on afterwards.Regular exercise is the predominant evidence-based approach to support children with ADHD/ADD and is the cornerstone of a healthy life for anyone, so I supplement this general advice with structured movement breaks that offer quick bursts of physical activity.These can support processing speed, working memory, planning and problem solving.
My SEN specialist skills and experience working with students with ASD (autism), including high-functioning autism and/or ADD/ADHD: I have four years experience teaching sixth formers with ASD and/or ADD/ ADHD, two of which I was the key stage lead teacher and Work Related Learning coordinator. This means developing a detailed understanding of strengths and challenges in order to support them in the way they need, in an age appropriate manner. During my time working in schools I have worked with a large range of academic levels: the key has always been to meet the pupils at their level and gain an understanding of their learning style. I have worked with children and young people with significant challenging behaviour which has meant clear, consistent and firm boundaries being communicated.
My skills and experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: This has been a central aspect with nearly all pupils I have worked with. Firstly, helping a child or young person establish their strengths and challenges for themselves is really important and then having an open and honest chat about it. Next, establishing simple targets together, always praising effort over ability, making sessions invigorating and fun and gently building up to more challenging application when appropriate. Equally offering some choice in the academic level to garner an attitude to learning where the child wants to challenge themselves and flex their ability a bit more. I am a proponent of directly teaching the Growth Mindset approach and if appropriate (and with parental consent) directly explaining some of the strengths and challenges that may come with certain diagnoses. With a nimble approach using these tools we can empower children and young people to find their feet and to use this growing confidence to fill any “learning gaps” or core skills that may need that extra help.
My skills and experience in championing science: I hold a BSc in Biology and I am passionate about the world of science and nature. I tend to use exploratory investigation and lateral thinking skills as a central part of all learning. I have embedded STEM learning into other subjects and directly taught inspirational leading figures from the science community to children previously.
My skills and experience differentiating lessons to enhance engagement and help students access learning: I have broad experience of adapting to academic levels from P levels to mainstream national curriculum. Through initially assessing where the learner is and listening to them, their family and professionals we can work from there. This needs to be continually reviewed: I have experience of differentiating to a number of groups in a class and teaching different levelled classes the same materials. I also have experience of supervising teachers and training up student teachers in the same process and using the Assessment For Learning approach.
My skills and experience providing fun and engaging sessions, to boost confidence and self-esteem: I have been lucky to train with LETTA and an Outstanding school to strive for engaging lessons that motivate. I am nimble and can bring energy to classes and tune these according to the needs of the pupil on the particular day and embed them within a structure. Only through creative and experiential processes can learners take leaps.
My skills and experience working with students with dyslexia: I have worked with students with a large range of literacy needs including dyslexia. Often the biggest barrier is reinvigorating a love of reading after years of difficulty or drilling. This can be done with careful reading intervention work around motivational and engaging literature. With older children and teenagers striving for the reading to be functional can win them over to it too. I have used Fisher Family Trust reading interventions and resources from Lexia UK too. Alongside this I adapt all resources around font, text, background colour, highlighting and encourage learners to adapt their ICT workspaces to their liking to offer independence.
My skills and experience working with students to develop their independence: I love to teach functional skills such as cooking and I have a range of lessons at my disposal: it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm that children and young people have around these wonderful practical lessons. In my previous role I coordinated Work Related Learning which included on-site learning in the school cafe, construction skills, gardening and coffee cart and offsite work experience in the local community. I have helped setup supported employment internships in the local community for young people with disabilities. I have written life skills based schemes of work and curriculum employability subjects. As well as SmiLE Therapy mentioned below I am a trained practitioner of Systematic Instruction which is used to support people learn tasks at work with fading support and prompting. I have also developed travel training to increase young people’s confidence with highway safety and using public transport. I have developed my own assessment tool for vocational skills as part of my NPQML research project. I am developing a curriculum and app for school use in tracking and developing life skills and independence. I am passionate about preparing young people for adulthood. I have had the honour to receive and wish farewell to many students as they move onto college or supported employment.
My skills and experience working with students with anxiety and/or depression: I have worked with a great many students with anxiety and depression and used a range of approaches. First and foremost it is crucial to build a trusting, respectful relationship. Developing frequent check-ins to develop emotional literacy: the ability to identify one’s own emotional state, especially as alexithymia or similar difficulties are quite common in autistic individuals. From there we can learn strategies to support ourself or to seek support from others. I have practiced regulating activities such as physical exercise, yoga, deep breathing, grounding exercises and visualisation, meditation, some sensory integration techniques and talking strategies to empower adolecsents with the tools they need. Coaching discussions encouraging self expression, young men talking about their feelings and advocating for a healthy lifestyle are crucial elements too. I have run art sessions with young people with ASD to encourage emotional literacy and supported a pupil following trauma. I have a solid foundation in identifying targets from the SCERTS framework in Emotional Self Regulation and Mutual Regulation. I have worked within Multi Disciplinary Teams alongside CAMHS and Adult Services Educational Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Sensory Integration OTs and Speech and Language Therapists.
My experience teaching English functional skills: I have taught WJEC functional English since working in sixth form and have a passion for directing learning towards skills needed in the community. I have taught a range of functional English lessons from Entry 1 up to Levels 1 and 2 at whole class level and would be excited to adapt these to 1:1 tutoring. I have also been involved in setting up AQA functional English for colleagues working in our satellite class in mainstream also.
My skills and experience working with students to develop their language skills including self-expression making inferences: I trained and received my QTS through London East Teacher Training Alliance and “on the job” at an Outstanding school specially developed around communication. Every moment offers learning opportunities for self-expression. I have lead literacy lessons with regular journal writing, structured peer discussion sessions, interview practice and self-expression with multimedia (making videos and presentations) and visual arts (drawing, painting and collage). I have worked with the Bow Arts partnership alongside artists around such projects. I have also completed Philosophy for Children training. I love using animation in learning as both a medium for expression and to spork comprehension and wider discussions around the topic.
My skills and experience working with students to develop their social communication skills including how to develop friendships, develop conflict resolution skills and perspective taking skills: I have a range of approaches at my disposal and I have written Schemes of Work for sixth formers in their Personal and Social Development lessons. I have had ongoing training in the use of the SCERTS method/framework which puts competency in social communication as a priority. I have also delivered training in SmiLE therapy (not a good name, but very useful) which develops functional communication in the community and breaks challenges down into steps for a project. I have taught WJEC modules on Problems in Daily Life that include developing friendships, Speech and Language interventions around “Green Zone” discussion topics and written social stories to support teenagers understand certain situations or social conventions. Rather that steadfast rules and skill sets most of these are best approached as principles and values to explore and discuss and the numerous approaches can be adapted as required.